NEW LAW: New Hampshire Adds Gender Identity As Protected Class

On June 8, 2018, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed HB1319 (An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity) into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on July 8, 2018, amends the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination (NHLAD) to include gender identity to the list of protected classes under the NHLAD.

Under this new law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual based on gender identity with respect to the terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, compensation, employment benefits, advancement, employment training, assignments and termination of employment.  In addition, workplace harassment of an individual because of his/her gender identity is also strictly prohibited.

For purposes of the new law, “gender identity” is defined as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

“Gender identity” can be shown by presenting “evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity, or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.”

Take home for employers

Before the amended law goes into effect on July 8, 2018, it is recommended that all New Hampshire employers update their policies and procedures to include gender identity and gender expression.  In addition, employers should insure that their harassment prevention trainings address gender identity and gender expression issues.  Finally, HR Professionals should be prepared to work with a transgender employee on the gender transition plan to ensure a safe and respectful workplace for all.